Whether you are just starting out in a career or are considering a career change, you may be considering getting a career in the police force. There are many benefits to working as a police officer that may be steering you in this direction, but despite this, you need to be aware of the risk factors of being on the front line when emergencies arise. When weighing up your career options, it is best to think long and hard about whether a role in the police force meets your future goals and expectations. This guide looks at some of the key benefits of getting a job in law enforcement and why you should become a cop:
Opportunity to make a difference every day
One of the main reasons why people wish to get a career in law enforcement is the fact that they have the ability to make a difference. Some cases may be a matter of life and death, such as saving an individual from a dangerous scene or catching a criminal. Your authority in such instances can have a profound impact on society that will not go unrecognized. Every single incident that you get involved in can save a life or bring about justice, which should, as a result, give you immense pride and satisfaction for your achievement.
Show criminals better life choices
Police officers have the platform to show criminals another way of life when they have no other form of guidance to show them otherwise. Drug users, abusers, and vandals often cause trouble in order to gain attention or another motive, which in the long run will cause them more harm than good. However, by having authority and showing respect and a calm manner, you may have the ability to change their mindset through words of encouragement and wisdom. While you may not condone their behavior, giving them time and attention could make the world of difference in their future choices and prevent more crimes from taking place.
Every day is a challenge
Many people join the police force as it is both a stimulating and challenging environment that cannot be experienced in many other sectors apart from the emergency services. If you like to be kept on your toes, be faced with new situations every single day, and be pushed to your limits, this is certainly a sector to consider as a career option. You’ll be traveling to new locations and be in contact with individuals from all walks of life that will certainly make your job interesting every single day.
With that said, you’ll also encounter emotionally challenging situations that you may never have expected to affect you. Extreme crime can have an impact on your own mental health in circumstances in which you have to meet and interview the victims of crimes or their families. In this regard, you must be in a positive and stable from of mind to be able to deal with the sensitive nature of the job.
Advantages of shift work
One of the benefits of being in the police force is that you’ll be on shift work, which can be advantageous for individuals with other life commitments. In most cases, you’ll get to choose shift patterns that fit into your lifestyle as opposed to working the traditional 9-5, which can be restricting when you have a family or elderly relatives to take care of. Shifts typically vary between 8-12 hours, depending on which force you apply to, and can either fall in the morning, afternoons, or nights.
The opportunity to progress
If you are someone who has the ambition to further their career later on in life, the police force will certainly provide opportunities to do so. By 2030, it is predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the police force will increase by almost 7%, which leaves plenty of scope for promotional opportunities with existing officers to make room for new recruits. Even if you have already secured a college degree in law or a similar field, you can choose to study additional courses such as a police studies degree in your own time that can open up prospects for branching into other sectors of criminal justice.
It’s a learning curve
Regardless of how many years you may have served within the police force, every day is still a learning curve. You will have to deal with unprecedented situations that you may have never encountered before, which will, in turn, benefit you both personally and professionally and allow you to develop emotional resilience. If you are an individual that enjoys the learning journey and continuously building on your knowledge and skillset, this is certainly a career option that will benefit you. Due to the nature of the role, you’ll be faced with a new situation each day that will force you to think on your feet and put your theoretical knowledge into practice.
The majority of police officers experience job satisfaction due to the unpredictability of the role on a daily basis and the opportunity to help the most vulnerable in society. Therefore, you’re far less likely to throw in the towel and feel the need to try a new career option early on. The work environment combines both independent and team working and is continuously fast-paced, so you simply don’t have time to get bored or unmotivated.
Unlike other professions, working in the policing sector is a secure career route. Regardless of the economic climate and the changes in technology, there will always be a need for human police officers to keep the streets safe and deal with emergencies. As a result, you’re extremely unlikely to be made redundant from your role at any stage. While this factor shouldn’t be the lone factor of why you should get into the police force, it is certainly a plus point when considering your future career goals.
If you are considering entering the policing sector, the above reasons might just be enough to persuade you to take the plunge.